A group of saints in Haridwar have asked the Uttarakhand government to prohibit the entry of non-Hindus to the Char Dham shrines. The Char Dham shrines are referred to as four pilgrimage sites- Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
According to a report in The Print, the saints in a letter to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami have demanded a government order against non-Hindus visiting these shrines.
They have claimed that recent instances of violence during the religious processions in different states showed that the Char Dham pilgrimage should be kept out of bounds for those who “do not believe in Hinduism”.
However, CM Dhami has said that the state should remain calm and that the religion and culture of the state should be preserved.
He added that the state government will run a verification drive regarding the issue and will try to conduct verification of the people living in the state. Those people living without verification wouldn’t be allowed in the state.
In a similar move in Kerala, a new controversy erupted after a board outside the Malliyodu Palottu Kaavu, a temple in Kunhimangalam of Kannur, said that Muslims were not allowed inside the premises during festival time.
The board put up during the Vishu-related festival in the temple between April 14 and 19 has led to protests in the area. According to a report in The News Minute, it is not the first time such a board was seen outside the temple during Vishu. Last year, a similar board was kept outside the temple with the same message.